Derry won't get close to Donegal – McCusker
FORMER Derry defender Fergal McCusker will be surprised if the Oak Leaf county are within five points of Donegal at the final whistle of Saturday’s Ulster Championship first round clash at Ballybofey.
Taking such a critical opinion is disappointing for the Derry man, because he would dearly love to see Donegal beaten.
Yet injuries, a lack of firepower, and the expected negative style of play suggest to McCusker that this is a game that Derry have little chance of winning.
“I would expect that Derry will go out and play by the seat of their pants. There might not be a game-plan, and even if there was a game-plan, I am not sure that they have the players to implement it,” he said.
“It is an unfortunate position that they find themselves in, in that they have so many injured players, inexperienced players or players who are unfit.
“We are still in a situation where we are relying on the two Bradleys. Can they continue to do that?”
Donegal are favourites to win this weekend’s game, and can be backed at 7/4 with William Hill. That favouritism is owed to Donegal’s comfortable defeat of Derry in last year’s final. But what of the fact that Derry reached last year’s final, and did so without the help of their star forward Paddy Bradley?
“We are not in a position where we will be up against a naive team like Armagh. Donegal are not going to do that, and I will be surprised if we get within five to six points of them?”
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday June 4. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent, or you can purchase the online version – for only 90p – by clicking here